Industry Market Trends

Top U.S. Regions for Science and Engineering Employment

Aug 20, 2013

California, Texas, and New York lead the nation in science and engineering (S&E) employment, according to a new report by the National Science Foundation. The report also identifies regional patterns for S&E employment and pinpoints the top cities where this job market flourishes.

The NSF report notes that S&E employment, a predictor of a region's productivity and growth, is concentrated in a few states. California, Texas, and New York account for over one-quarter of all S&E employment in the U.S., despite having lower shares of their employed populations in S&E occupations. The two areas with the highest S&E employment were in California: Los Angeles and Santa Clara. Regions around New York City, Houston, San Diego, and Denver had the second largest S&E employment in the U.S.

Meanwhile, "intensity employment," or the proportion of workers in a state that is employed in S&E jobs, was highest in the District of Columbia. Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia, Colorado, and Washington trail as the other top areas.

A Breakdown of Science and Engineering Employment

Of the approximately 5.7 million workers that were employed in S&E occupations in the U.S. in 2011, 3.1 million reported being in a computer or mathematical science occupation, and 1.7 million reported they were engineers. Others were divided into science professions. Physical science professionals accounted for 368,000 of S&E workers, followed by social sciences (285,000) and life sciences (259,000).

The report, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2011 American Community Survey, also shows where specific S&E occupations are most abundant. Workers looking for computer and mathematical science occupations, for instance, can turn to the areas around Santa Clara, New York City, and Los Angeles. San Diego had the highest levels of employment in engineering.

The findings may also be indicative of the best places for new STEM graduates, who command higher salaries than non-STEM fields and help drive the nation's global competitive edge. As the report's authors note: "Workers with S&E expertise are an integral part of a region's innovative capacity because of their high levels of skill, creative ideas, and contributions to scientific knowledge and R&D."

Read the full comprehensive report here.